The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has debunked the claim by National U-23 Olympic Dream Team coach, Samson Siasia, that the football administrative body took away his official car while he was still in Rio executing the Nigeria’s campaign for Olympic football glory. In an interview with Vanguard Newspapers, Siasia had said, “Even before I returned from the Olympics, the only car they gave me, they took it away from my wife. That is just awesome. That is not how to treat someone who was out there seeking glory for the nation. Let them eat their national team,”
Siasia led the football team to a bronze finish at the just-ended Rio Olympics. In 2008 Olympics, he equally led Nigeria to win a silver medal in football.
Responding to Siasia’s claim in the interview which attracted the NFF opprobrium, the organisation’s Deputy Director (Communications), Ademola Olajire, told Nigerian Tribune that Siasia’s contract with the NFF did not include provision of an official car.
“The question you should ask him is, did his contract with the NFF as U-23 team coach include provision of any official car?
“The car in question was newly brought when Sunday Oliseh got the Super Eagles job. So, when Siasia handled the Eagles for two matches in March, the car was given to him as there was no immediate need for it in the absence of a substantive Super Eagles coach,” Olajire said.
It was not clear whether NFF’s understanding of coaching a national intermediate football team entailed. Mr Olajire did not say if they preferred Siasia hopping into buses or trekking as the coach of Nigeria’s Olympic Team coach.
The NFF spokesman further cleared the air on Siasia’s alleged resignation.
“There is no need for any resignation from him. His contract with the NFF expired at the end of the Rio Olympics. The coaching crew’s job ended with the Olympics,” Olajire told Tribunesport.
On the issue of backlog of salary owed the former Super Eagles coach, Olajire said Siasia would be paid as soon as funds were available to the federation.
The coach, who led the Flying Eagles to a second-place finish at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup had told BBC Sport at the weekend that he had enough of Nigerian football.
“I have reached that point where I have to say I have had enough. I’ve gone several months without getting paid, years of being derided and disrespected by the sports authorities in Nigeria but I am done already,” he said